April 2020 Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money…
Has 2020 opened your eyes to how your company structure can be improved?
COVID-19 brought about a lot of change to people’s lives and how businesses operated. Working from home was a mandate across the US and many other countries. Working from home was uncharted territory for many and companies expected to see a decrease in productivity, but instead many saw an increase. This has sparked discussions about other ways to get the job done and the exploration of changing operating models to support a more flexible approach to increase employee satisfaction, retention and attracting new talent. One of these ways is the Liberated company.
A liberated company is built on a set of basic principles and of consensus. It is about working as a team, all of the employees within a company are important and have a part in the creation of value. This structure aligns with Maslow’s hierarchy of need. In addition to feeling valued and a sense of belonging, people want to enjoy their work, so all that needs to be done is give employees an environment that allows them to do just that. It is about creating a virtuous circle of autonomy through responsibility.
The liberated approach isn’t revolutionary. It is simply part of a transformation trend that began several years ago with the goal of creating more agility, autonomy and shared leadership within corporations. This model is based on a theory put forward in the 1960s by McGregor: Theory Y (“have confidence in people”) which was popularized by the book Freedom, Inc. by Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz.
For this model to work, companies have to believe and commit to two things:
Unlike more traditional operating models, employees in liberated companies are free to choose what actions to take in the best interests of the company. For example, they are not directed by management or locked into following processes. The result is two-fold: they are fully committed to delivering the business’s strategic vision and enjoy enough autonomy to innovate and structure their time in a way that works best for them. As a result, the company becomes more agile and efficient.
First you need a Liberating Leader to spearhead the effort and be the change agent. This leader must have a strong and compelling vision of the business that aligns to a value system and brings together the entire company. Communication skills, particularly listening skills (listening to understand, not to respond) are critical to make it possible for the employees to speak. For example, the head of one organization turned the company over to the employees for a year to open up the space for people to take the initiative. For them “the Liberating Leader” tries to make themselves dispensable in an effort to build confidence and enable self-realization and self-direction. This method may not work for your organization, but it’s interesting to consider.
Next you need adjust the management layer:
Human Resources and Talent Acquisition will also need to be reimagined. Hiring for culture is a priority, as all employees need to embrace being self-managed and working in a consensus driven environment.
As with every model, there are challenges. Here are a few worth considering.
As appealing as this new model is, companies don’t need to make the transition to a liberated model to show employees they are respected, have confidence in them, and to seek to improve the quality of their working environment through responsible management.
Interested in learning more? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.